George and Rhonda Houser, former operators of three Georgia nursing homes, last month pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to defraud the state’s Medicare and Medicaid programs of more than $30 million between 2004 and 2007. They were released on bond. Through their Rome, Ga.-based company, Forum Healthcare Group, the Housers owned and managed Mount Berry Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Moran Lake Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, both based in Rome, and Wildwood Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Brunswick, Ga. In 2007, all three homes were involuntarily terminated from the Medicare and Medicaid programs because of evidence of rampant fraud and abuse. The 11-count indictment detailed conspiracy charges that the Housers had funneled millions of dollars in funds for personal use, including purchases of property and cars. That diversion of cash left the three nursing homes dangerously strapped, the government said, and shortages of food and medical supplies were commonplace. Care at the homes was “so deficient, inadequate, substandard as to constitute worthless services,” the indictment stated. Subacute Services, Lilburn, Ga., took control of the homes in November 2007 and changed the names of all three facilities.